Museums: Mirror of an Era

For his four daughters and 13 grandchildren, to say nothing of his friends and fellow antique fanciers, the late Forsyth Wickes delighted in opening wide the golden trove that he had gathered in his 16-room home in Newport, R.I.

At Starbord House, dinners were served on an early-1800s English table from porcelain that had belonged to Madame du Barry and the Prince de Condé. The sitting room, library and foyer were crammed with rare 17th and 18th century furniture and objets d'art. When Wickes, a retired lawyer, died in 1964 at the age...

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